Blog Archives

Thank Goodness It's Summer - TGIS Membership Drive

In celebration of the warm weather, SMPS CT is offering a Thank Goodness It's Summer (TGIS) Membership Drive with discounts for new and returning members. Take advantage of all the benefits TGIS has to offer before August 31st!

Discounts include:

  • $100 discount available to any enrolling New Member (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • $100 discount available to any re-enrolling Encore Member whose membership expired prior to December 2015 (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • 3 webinar programs scheduled for July and August, at no charge to enrolling New Members or re-enrolling Encore Members
  • 3-month membership extension award available to any Current Member recommending a New Member who joins before August 31, 2018


For more information contact Ruth Millward, Cathy DeFrances, or Ron Paolillo.


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Lending Library Summertime Reading List

By: Jessica Osborne, CPSM - Marketing Manager, BL Companies

Summertime to me means longer days, sunny skies, and (hopefully!) time spent traveling or relaxing – which allows for some extra time to catch up on some reading, personal or professional. Whether you’re listening to an audiobook while on a road trip, or getting lost in a book while lounging on a beach, books are a great way to pass the time! No matter how you like to get your reading in, I’d love to suggest some materials from the SMPS CT Lending Library. Below are a few of my recommendations:

  • Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)
  • TED Talks Storytelling – 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks (Akash Karia)
  • Tips, Tricks, & Tidbits – for marketing executives forced, against their will, to be graphic designers (Clockwork Design Group)
  • Knowing Your Value – Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth (Mika Brzezinski)


Do you have any you’d like to add to this list? Better yet, feel free to contribute some of your favorites to the Lending Library and give our members the opportunity to get lost in a great book (to me, there really isn’t a better feeling!).

For more information on check out procedures and donations, visit our lending library page.


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Event Recap: SMPS CT Strategic Planning


As part of this year's strategic planning retreat, SMPS CT was joined by Inspire Corps. Acting as facilitators, they led SMPS CT members on a journey through time to discover the past and future of the chapter. From humble beginnings as a satellite office to the Boston chapter to various accolades and recent growth spurts, SMPS CT has a rich history that has that helped form the chapter as it is today. Our members came away with an understanding of how SMPS CT started and the various factors at play during it's growth stages.  

Inspire Corps illustrating the history of SMPS CT from our beginnings in the early 1980's to present day. 

With a clear view of the past, we were able to start planning for the future. As part of the discussion we took time to relflect on the SMPS Mission & Vision and benchmark our goals against both:

The SMPS Mission: To advocate for, educate, and connect leaders in the building industry. 
The SMPS Vision: Business transformed through marketing leadership. 

Attendees were able to use their creative thinking skills as we discussed critical path items and set goals to make our 2018-2019 program year the best it can be.

SMPS CT members discussing the vision and mission of SMPS.



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June Best 5

By: Mary McIlvain

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles June had to offer:

1. After the Storm: Economic Recovery after Katrina and Sandy

2. 5 Ways of Newsjacking To Promote Your Firm

3. Designing for Human Health is the Next Frontier in Sustainable Building

4. 4 Ways IoT Impacts Design and Construction

5. 17 Beautifully Designed Tea Shops from Around the World


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Event Recap: SMPS CT Annual Meeting and Connecticut Economic Outlook Client Panel

By: Marta Dabrowski

SMPS CT's Annual Meeting and Connecticut's Economic Outlook Client Panel took place on June 20th at the Back Nine Tavern at Southington Country Club. Before the panelists took the stage, current President Sharon Pomeroy, shared some of the past season's highlights which included record membership numbers, an impressive programs line-up, and an increase in our social media following. 

As part of the end-of-season celebrations, member of the year and lifetime achievement awards were awarded to members who made invaluable contributions to the chapter. Jessica Parkins of Petra Construction, was the recipient of the Grace Waldvogel Member of the Year Award. Jessica, as the Programs Committee Chair, has done an extraordinary job leading the committee and successfully coordinating chapter programs and events. Jim Bancroft of Lenard Engineering, was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. His contributions to SMPS and the Connecticut chapter over the past 24 years as treasurer are insurmountable. The SMPS CT board unanimously decided that going forward the Lifetime Achievement Award will be know as the Jim Bancroft Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Client Panel

Our all star client panel tackled some of the tough question regarding the current state of the Connecticut economy including the status of current and upcoming A/E/C projects and the future economic outlook for the State. Our panel included: James P. Redeker, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Transportation; Laura Cruickshank, FAIA, University Master Planner and Chief Architect and Associate Vice President for University Planning, Design and Construction for the University of Connecticut; Karri May, AIA, Senior Project Manager, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center; Dawn Hocevar, President & CEO of Bio CT; and Courtney Hendricson, Vice President of Municipal Services at Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CREC). Our moderator was Kent Schwendy, President/CEO of CIL, a non-profit real estate development company.

To start, the panelists each shared an experience that had a profound impact on their career. From changing the lives of cancer patients through the design of medical facilities to connecting people through transportation initiatives, the panelist made it clear that the spaces we live in have a profound effect on individuals and that, most importantly, we have to strive to make Connecticut a place where people want to live and work.  

When asked if the economy performed as expected over the past year and what the outlook was for the future, the panelists agreed that last year was not easy for anyone. The State budget cuts within the past couple months caused projects across Connecticut to be put on hold. This delay had a ripple effect on all future projects. Laura Cruickshank (UConn) concurred that the budget has put some of the university's projects on hold. With most projects being STEM-oriented, this not only had an impact on the University but also the job market - potentially causing a shortage in STEM graduates. Dawn Hocevar (Bio CT) had a positive outlook for the bio science industry in Connecticut. With bio science being one of the top five revenue generating industries in the State, it will be worthwhile for the State to invest in more incubator spaces and graduate spaces to allow these new start-ups to develop. 

Looking to the future, James Redeker (CTDOT) shared his vison for Connecticut which included getting rid of congestion and providing more alternative transportation options. He commented that sustained progress and investment in transportation will keep the economy going in the long run. Investing in transportation makes a difference - that's why the Department is planning to ease congestion by putting the Charter Oak Bridge out to bid later this year, the bridge is one of the most congested routes in the State. Karri May (CT Children's Medical Center) believes we need to start thinking more regionally and attract people and clients from outside the state. Courtney Hendricson (CERC) agreed, saying that CERC is currently working on recruiting foreign companies to do business in Connecticut. 

To conclude the program the panelists were asked how the A/E/C industry can help in their current positions. Courtney Hendricson (CERC) said the best way to help is to get to know the senior leaders and officials in your community - most often you share the same goals and can work together to make them a reality. James Redeker (CTDOT) commented that celebrating what we are doing together will make all the difference and make Connecticut a more positive place to work and live. 

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New Member Spotlight - June 2018

Meet SMPS Connecticut's newest member - Lindsey Webber, Marketing Coordinator, C.E. Floyd Company!

Lindsey Webber
Marketing Coordinator, C.E. Floyd Company

Lindsey Webber recently joined C.E. Floyd Company as a Contract Administrator, but when the Marketing Coordinator role became available, she jumped at the opportunity to make the change. She had already proven she was a good fit for the company, and now she can put her English background to use. Lindsey is assisting with content creation, award submissions, photo shoots, CRM support and other marketing tasks. She is looking forward to being a part of the Marketing family at C.E. Floyd! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time at the beach and camping with friends and family


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WHAT IS CONNECTICUT’S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK? SMPS CT Annual Meeting and Connecticut Economic Outlook Client Panel

By: Ashley Remmers

What are some of the current and upcoming A/E/C projects in Connecticut? How do they relate to Connecticut’s current and future economic outlook? Come find out at SMPS’s Annual Meeting & Connecticut Economic Outlook Client Panel Program. Join us for our final program of the 2017-2018 SMPS CT calendar year on Wednesday, June 20th, at Back Nine Tavern at Southington Country Club, 150 Savage Street, Plantsville, CT, 06479, for an interactive panel that will explore Connecticut’s economic outlook and its effect on current and future A/E/C projects.

Our diverse panel of guests include: James P. Redeker, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Transportation; Laura Cruickshank, FAIA, University Master Planner and Chief Architect and Associate Vice President for University Planning, Design and Construction for the University of Connecticut; Karri May, AIA, Senior Project Manager, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center; Dawn Hocevar, President & CEO of Bio CT; and Courtney Hendricson, Vice President of Municipal Services at Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CREC). Our moderator will be Kent Schwendy, President/CEO of CIL, a non-profit real estate development company. If you’re looking for a glimpse into Connecticut’s future, this program is for you. For more information, please visit our website here. Registration is open until June 15th.N


Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) was created in 1973 by a small group of professional services firm leaders who recognized the need to sharpen skills, pool resources, and work together to create business opportunities. Today, SMPS, nationally, represents a dynamic network of 7,000+ marketing and business development professionals from architectural, engineering, planning, interior design, construction, and specialty consulting firms located throughout the United States and Canada. The Society and its 60 chapters benefit from the support of 3,250 design and building firms, encompassing 80% of the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms and Top 400 Contractors.


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How to Introduce Yourself Quickly

By Gilda Bonanno



© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

Sign up at www.gildabonanno to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills  

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May Best 5

By: Mary MacIIvain, CPSM

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the marketing articles May had to offer:

1. The Real Deal on BD Success: Only 3 Basics

2. ENR 2018 Top 400 Contractors: The Market Keeps on Rolling

3. State Planning for Long-term Stability and Resilience

4. Design Firms Keep Busy Despite Cost Concerns

5. 4 Proven Strategies for Keeping Your Project on Budget


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SMPS CT Member Post: Why I became a Living Organ Donor

By: Victoria Pancoast

People keep saying “Give one of my kidneys? I don’t think I could do that!” or “Maybe I would do it if it was for a relative, but I am not really sure.” It’s not something I ever thought about doing either, until Deb, a member of my church and friend of the family, had been added to the transplant list at Yale New Haven Hospital in the summer of 2017. I knew that she had been on kidney dialysis three times a week for the last few years. I thought, ‘what kind of quality of life is that?’ and I figured since my blood type is O-negative that maybe I should look into becoming a donor. I had never had major surgery and I didn’t know anything about kidney donation. To be honest, I didn’t even know where my kidneys were located! They weren’t something I ever thought about. 

My husband and kids were a bit hesitant at first, but once I really started considering it, God made it clear that it was something I was meant to do. Literally the day after I told my husband and kids that I was considering being tested, we went to a wedding and sat next to a woman who told us that the bride’s mother had given her a kidney. I hadn’t even mentioned anything about Deb and what I was thinking of doing. I looked at my husband and said, "That’s a sign. I’m supposed to do this.”

I went through a series of phone interviews, tests and then a full day at the hospital to make sure I was physically and psychologically ready to donate. It was a fascinating process and ultimately, I was approved as a match. The team at Yale New Haven Hospital was fantastic and our surgery on February 6th was a success. The day after the surgery, Deb’s surgeon told me that it typically takes 5-7 years for a patient on the transplant list to receive a kidney and there was no guarantee that she would have survived the wait. The photo of Deb and I posted with this blog was taken 3 weeks post-surgery. We have both been feeling great! 

Recently the company I work for, Arcadis, announced that they are building a “People First” culture. A culture where integrity matters, and individuals are valued for who they are. I love that Arcadis values people and improving the quality of life. I truly feel that helping people is what we were created to do. I am so happy that I was a match for the recipient and able to help improve someone’s life through the kidney transplant. I encourage everyone to put people first and look for ways to collectively help one another.

Blog post originally posted on Victoria's LinkedIn profile.


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